For Conservatives, Kerry is not Catholic Enough

March 8, 2004

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 8, 2004 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported, "John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. So is John Forbes Kerry.   When he ran for the presidency 44 years ago, the first JFK drew fire from evangelical Protestants who feared he would be too tied to the church of the pope.   This year's JFK has the opposite problem.   Conservative Protestants and Catholics say Kerry's political positions are too far from Catholic teachings on controversial social issues such as abortion and same-sex unions. Conversely, his opponent, President Bush, is criticized by more liberal Protestants and Catholics for being too driven by his personal religious beliefs, his evangelical brand of Methodism and his conservative Christian constituents.   This is the 2004 political battleground of the culture war, where the fight is not between denominations but between conservatives and liberals across denominational lines.   Kerry has described himself as a "believing and practicing Catholic, married to another believing and practicing Catholic."   He has said he personally opposes abortion — in compliance with church teachings — but supports abortion rights. He opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions."